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Surf Break Rating

Rate Otama


Surf Report Feed

Otama Swell Statistics, All Year: All Swell – Any Wind

The figure shows the range of swells directed at Otama over a normal year. It is based on 34628 NWW3 model predictions since 2006 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind or surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the best grid node based on what we know about Otama, and at Otama the best grid node is 32 km away (20 miles).

The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours illustrate increasing wave sizes. Blue shows the smallest swells, less that 0.5m (1.5 feet) high. These occurred 50% of the time. Green and yellow represent increasing swell sizes and red illustrates biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.

The diagram indicates that the prevailing swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was ENE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the W. Because the wave model grid is out to sea, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Otama and offshore. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose diagram. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Otama, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. During a typical year, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Otama run for about 4% of the time.

IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.